Im working on this really complex product for storing people & company details. The people and company details has tons of different tabs for entering information (around 20 tabs). How do i represent this to the user without completely overwhelming them with tabs?

One idea was to show only 8 at a time and the user has to scroll across to see more...

  • Have you tried vertical tabs?
    – fri
    Dec 18, 2014 at 11:45

4 Answers 4


20 horizontal tabs is simply an overwhelming experience and being given 20 options side by side makes my brain hurt.

My recommendation is to categorize your 20 selections into about 3 or 4 groups and create a pleasant vertical accordion menu. Below is an example of a vertical accordion menu.



I've never come across something that can't be sectioned.
But if it really is something that can't be sectioned, then my advice is go vertical, not horizontal.

Tabs are normally horizontal. But since you can't scroll horizontal, go vertical. A navigation list.

If you would like a more extensive answer, I would suggest you post some more information.


This is a tricky one to answer without any further understanding of the typical scenarios and your users needs. From a user interface perspective there are lots of ways to display this information: drop down lists/multiple selects/tabs/simple links etc. See: http://ui-patterns.com/

I would focus more on research into the users/tasks, some point to consider could include:

Does all the information have to be presented on the same page? Could it be broken down into steps?

Consider whether all people need to see all tabs? Is there any logic to how different user types engage with the system? This could provide you with the opportunity to tailor the view to the user. Or allow the user to tailor which information they want to see first?

Thinking about the topic "people and company details" - I would hypothesise that there are ways to group these 20 tabs/links/tasks together. Typically you may see information grouped into sections such as "personal information" "organisation details".


The main reason of tab is to see all your option in one single sight, making a scrollable tab will lost the main feature of tabs.
Every thing in the universe could be sectioned and classified based on a rule you put. Just discover a methodology and a unity doing that rule. if you couldn't sectioned it by function , it could be sectioned by alphabet, the usability, color, similar function ... etc. just list all your 20 tab list and try to figure out what are in common.

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